Can I Get More Than My Spouse in Our Divorce? Understanding Asset Division Laws in Florida

Can I Get More Than My Spouse in Our Divorce? Understanding Asset Division Laws in Florida

Divorce is a complex and emotionally taxing process that can lead to questions about the future, especially regarding financial stability and asset division.

One question many divorcing couples have is, “Can I get more than my spouse in our divorce?”

Our team at Griffin Family Law is here to explain how assets are divided in the Sunshine State, provide insight into what you can expect during your divorce proceedings, and how our skilled Florida family law attorney can guide you through this challenging time.

Equitable Distribution in Florida

Florida follows the principle of equitable distribution, meaning that marital assets—and debts—are divided fairly, but not necessarily equally, between spouses upon divorce. This approach considers several factors to achieve a just and reasonable division under the circumstances.

Marital vs. Non-Marital Assets

Understanding the difference between marital and non-marital assets is crucial.

Marital assets include most property and income acquired by either spouse during the marriage. In contrast, non-marital assets typically consist of property acquired before the marriage, inheritances, and gifts specifically given to one spouse (excluding engagement rings), among others.

The first step in asset division is identifying which assets are subject to division.

Factors Considered in Equitable Distribution

When dividing assets equitably, courts consider various factors to ensure a fair and just distribution. These factors include:

The Duration of the Marriage

The length of the marriage can significantly influence the division of assets. In longer marriages, it is more likely that the couple has commingled their assets extensively, leading to a more intricate division process. Conversely, shorter marriages may result in a simpler division, often with each party retaining what they brought into the marriage.

Each Spouse’s Economic Circumstances

Courts assess each spouse’s financial standing, including income, earning capacity, and overall financial health. This evaluation ensures that neither spouse is left in a disadvantaged economic position post-divorce. Factors such as employment status, debt, and individual financial needs are considered to maintain a balance.

The Contributions Each Spouse Made to the Marriage

Contributions are not limited to financial inputs but include non-financial efforts such as homemaking and parenting. A non-working spouse who supported the household and cared for the children is recognized for these invaluable contributions, potentially warranting a larger share of the assets.

The Interruption of Personal Careers or Educational Opportunities

If one spouse sacrificed career advancement or educational opportunities to benefit the marriage or family, the court considers this when dividing assets. These sacrifices are acknowledged, potentially leading to compensation through asset distribution to support the affected spouse’s future stability.

Contributions to One Spouse’s Career or Educational Opportunity by the Other Spouse

When one spouse financially or through domestic support supports the other’s career or education, this contribution is factored into asset division. The court aims to compensate the supporting spouse for enhancing the other spouse’s earning potential.

The Desirability of Retaining Any Asset Intact

Certain assets, such as businesses, corporations, or professional practices, might be more beneficial if retained intact by one spouse. The court considers the practicality and desirability of keeping these assets free from claims or interference by the other party to avoid disrupting their operation or value.

The Contribution of Each Spouse to the Acquisition and Enhancement of Assets

The court evaluates how each spouse contributed to acquiring and improving marital and non-marital assets. This includes direct financial contributions, management or maintenance efforts, and even incurring liabilities that enhance the marital estate.

These factors, among others, guide the court in determining an equitable distribution of assets, ensuring that the division reflects each spouse’s unique circumstances and contributions throughout the marriage.

Can You Get More Than Your Spouse?

Given Florida’s equitable distribution laws, one spouse can receive more than another in a divorce settlement. This outcome depends on various circumstances, such as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s financial condition, and contributions made during the marriage.

For instance, if one spouse sacrifices their career for marriage or parenting, they might be awarded a larger portion of the marital assets. Similarly, if one spouse contributed more towards acquiring or enhancing marital assets, this might also be reflected in the asset division.

The Role of a Divorce Lawyer or Family Law Attorney

Successfully making it through Florida’s asset division process requires a strategic approach and understanding of asset division laws. A qualified divorce lawyer in Florida can help protect your rights during the divorce process. Here’s how they can assist:

Legal Guidance and Representation

An experienced attorney provides invaluable legal advice tailored to your unique situation, helping you understand your rights and options. They will vigorously represent your interests in negotiations or court, aiming for a favorable and equitable outcome.

Asset Identification and Valuation

Your divorce lawyer in Florida can help identify which assets are considered marital property and ensure they are accurately valued. This step is essential for a fair division of assets.

Negotiation and Settlement

Many asset divisions are resolved through negotiation rather than litigation. A skilled attorney can negotiate to reach a settlement that aligns with your interests and goals.

Litigation Support

Having a knowledgeable attorney is indispensable if negotiations fail and your case goes to court. They will present your case, highlighting the factors that warrant a more favorable division.

Future Financial Security

Your attorney will focus on the immediate division of assets and consider your long-term financial security. This includes evaluating potential alimony or child support arrangements that may impact your financial well-being post-divorce.

Contact Our Florida Family Law Attorney Today

Whether you can get more than your spouse in a Florida divorce has no one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on various factors related to your marriage and financial situation.

Working with a divorce lawyer in Florida early on in the divorce process is crucial to protecting your rights. With their guidance, you can ensure that your interests are well-represented, aiming for an equitable division that secures your financial future.

At Griffin Family Law, PLLC, we understand Florida family law and are committed to providing our clients with personalized and compassionate legal representation. If you’re facing a divorce and are concerned about asset division, contact our Florida family law attorney today to see how we can help you achieve a fair and just resolution.

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SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION – Call (904) 372-9708 or fill out the form to schedule your free initial consultation to learn more about how we can help and to discuss your options with an experienced lawyer.